Customer Reviews: Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
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on April 21, 2011
I bought this unit to do some auto body panel replacement welding. I already have a 220 volt mig that I have used for over 10 years. It has a hard time with light welding tasks like sheetmetal. I figured this unit would be good for small welding tasks and is a good brand name in the welding world. The unit came well packed. I was not happy that the gas regulator did not have a gauge, thus making it hard to know when you were near the end of your bottle. I did end up adding a gauge since this would drive me nuts. The reason I am giving it full stars is based on its performance. It really surprised me to its ability to weld thicker material and still run on just 110 power. I love that I can plug it in anywhere and weld away on just about any size material with ease. And as predicted, it does dial down to be very good with 18 gauge sheetmetal. I wish it had a infinite dial for power output but I am able to find one of the 4 settings that will work for the job at hand. I have plugged into a variety of outlets and have not popped a breaker yet. The main thing is that I had always viewed portable welders as wimpy and for people that were too cheap to buy a full size welder but now realize that this unit has enough power to be my only welder for household and hobby use. I was tempted to buy a no-name unit from some other companies in order to get the infinite power dial for heat but am happy with what I chose. I am sure this unit will last and it is very smooth. The whole reason I was buying a second welder was for that smooth reliable operation at low heat settings, and this unit did that and much more.
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on April 17, 2013
I have been in the welding business for 40 years. When my wife told me she wanted a welder for her birthday and wanted me to teach her how to weld for her arts and crafts I had to decide one thing. What kind of machine would be best for a beginner ? I started looking at cheap Chinese welders and my experience told me they are not built to last. They have crummy rollers that won't hold up, they will make your weld wire look like a birds nest. Then I looked at their duty cycle. This is the amount of time your machine can run without resting to cool down. (I told you I have done this for 40 years) The cheap machines all max out at about 10%. You all know that means if you want to spend an hour welding, your machine is shut down 54 minutes in that hour to cool down. I know Mama is not going to be welding one straight hour, you have to do more prep work in welding than actual weld time and that lets your machine cool down and be ready when you are. This machine has a 20% duty cycle and that is rare in this price range. Plenty of power for any home use.

I chose this Lincoln K2185-1 because Lincoln is a company I have trusted my whole working life. Lincoln Welders have been headquartered in Cleveland Ohio for over 100 years and their quality is known world wide. Lincoln Manufactures over 90 different models for any type of welding need. As I said earlier, this is not a high production machine. This unit plugs in anywhere to 110 v. 20 amps. and works great on light gauge steel. If you want to weld material thicker than 1/8" you should look elsewhere, but if you want to do auto body work or light gauge sheet metal this machine is awesome. You can weld with flux core wire or use shielding gas and hard wire for a better looking weld using the inexpensive regulator that comes with this unit. Two spools of wire are also included with a hand held welding mask, chipping hammer/wire brush and some extra tips. For hobby use around the house or farm this is a great welder. Amazon had a better price than I could find locally
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on May 17, 2013
Was looking for a decent, cheap MIG welder two years ago, searched the web and found this for $267.18, delivered, Fed EX, 2 day delivery. Jumped at this price and got it in two days. I have had a Lincoln 235 Amp AC welder for about 40 Years (bought it new for $79.00 retail at Farm & Fleet) and have welded more things than I can remember. It is still going strong, so I knew I was going with a good brand name.

A few months later, I bought a Argon/CO2 tank to go with it. It sat in my shop until just recently, (We moved here in 2010 and it took a while to get the shop built and arranged the way it should be) when I bought a cart for the welder. Well, I just used it about a week ago. This thing is fantastic! It is the easiest welder I have ever used. I built a cart for my OXY/Acetylene set, out of 1" square steel tubing, all miter cuts. The fact that you can see exactly where the weld is immediately, is great, no chipping off slag to see the results. I was using a 15 amp outlet, as it is the closest 110V outlet to my welding table and it worked, no problem. I did pop the breaker once during a long series of welds, but that was to be expected, I was welding 1/8" steel and the highest setting. This unit is spectacular. Do not hesitate to buy this if you are in the market for a light to medium duty welder. The fact that it will work on light gauge metal is great. It is very difficult to weld the thin stuff with a stick welder without a stitch attachment. With the wire feed you don't need to replace the sticks every few welds.

I haven't tried it with the flux core wire, but with the great results I had with the inert gas, I don't intend to. You can hold a nice arc from 1/8" to 3/8" from the surface and the welds are nice and smooth, penetrate well and again, no slag! Mig welding is the way to go. As another person noted, it doesn't come with a gauge to see how much gas is left in the tank (I have since gotten one from Amazon) but it works well with the pre-adjusted regulator it comes with. You will want to get a real welding helmet, as it comes with just a hand held face shield. I would recommend the photoelectric self dimming type available almost everywhere, shop around and you can find one for under $40.00.

It came with a two pound spool of wire that I pretty much used up for the project so I got a 11 pound reel and it fits in the welder just fine. Set up is fairly straight forward and the manual (yes, it comes with an actual manual) is informative and easy to understand, if you want to preview the manual, you can download the PDF file at

Specs for the welder itself, are available from Lincoln at
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on June 15, 2011
I read all the reviews on this product before I bought it. There weren't any really bad ones and you won't get one here. I am restoring a 1960 MGA and needed something to weld automotive sheet metal. I will be able to do more than that. Glad I decided to go with Lincoln. What a smooth easy to use welder. I thought I would have to get a lease and use co2 or argon for MIG welding the sheet metal but the inner shield works fantastic. This is a super little unit!!!
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on September 18, 2015
Solid welder. Body panel replacement, custom fabricating, roll cages, bumpers are something this welder can handle. You don't need another welder for simple DIY jobs than this. Highly recommended
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on November 3, 2015
This is a great little welder. I've already ran through a roll of wire and I've only had it a short time. One minor glitch with it was the feed roller was not correct. One side should be marked 6, and the other 9. This corresponds to the groove size. The 9 is for the larger wire that does not require gas, and the 6 for the smaller wire which is used with the inert gas. The welder comes with wire for both options, but my welder came with a roller that had 9 on both sides. It wasn't just marked incorrectly - both groove were the same size. The vendor replaced the roller and now I can use both sides and therefore both wire sizes.
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on March 17, 2016
I never give a Product 5 stars, so you know that when I do, it's a Product that's Worthy of It.

I have been welding for 15 years, using Chicago Electric Flux-cored welders.
I've given that Company $1500 in my years of Welding, and I regret every Penny, now.
C.E. Welders have always been Crap. Especially now that they've changed the Design.
The Black ones are worse than their old Blue Ones.

But this Lincoln welder (as Lincoln is well-known for Good Quality), and I now see Why.
I just wish I'd bought one of these YEARS ago.

So, as I always give good Product Reviews, here it is:

This Lincoln Welder has 2 switches, as opposed to C.E.'s design, of only 1.
The 2 switches are Low & High, and 1 & 2. The 1 & 2 switch, control the Amount of heat.
Being I'm new to Lincoln, i will have to learn what that Means, but I assume anything 14 gauge or thinner, will be the '1' setting.

The primary question I had before I bought this: "Can I use the 8" Spools of Wire?" Simply, the answer is 'YES'.
Typically, 10 & 11lb spools of Welding wire, are 8" Diameters, and this welder will Accommodate that Size.

But FYI, the Door on the side (that you open to put the Spool in), in the Picture it's on the RIGHT side.
The one I recieved; The Door is on the LEFT side. It doesnt matter to ME, but it Might to YOU, depending on your welding cart, or whatever...

Right out of the Box, it make BETTER WELDS than C.E. welders.
The Ground (-) Clamp is also better, because it's able to Spread to fit like, 2 1/2" Tubing.
C.E. Ground Clamps cant even fit a 1 1/2" diameter tube.

C.E. Welders arc, and refuse to spark (weld) alot of the Time. This Lincoln Welder arc'ed EVERY SINGLE TIME ! ! !

Bottomline: $350 is WELL WORTH IT ! ! ! For the Record, Home Depot & Lowes sell it for Cheaper than Amazon (as of the time of this Review).
As long as this welder lasts longer than 3 months, then It's a thousand times better than Chicago Electric.

I will update this review if/when Needed.
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on September 17, 2011
This has got to be one of the best deals for price, workability, everything; it is awsome you can do whatever big heavy stuff, little thin stuff, and body and fender work E-Z, welding up exhaust systems perfect..... i was supprized, i made my own cart for mine and bought a different mask, the only thing you need is your wall socket (buy a tank use the gas way better welds) a few practice runs BOOM your a PRO. They wanted $480 for this welder at a PRO shop $359 shipped is a steal.
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on December 20, 2011
Evidently you received a bad product or you have not set up your machine properly. You did not say if you were using flux coated or mig wire. Maybe you are not placing the wire in the correct drive wheel. You must reverse rhe drive wheel for mig wire and adjust the wire tensioner correctly. This is the best 110 volt welder on the market. Got mine for $285.oo and free shipping from Sears.
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on October 20, 2011
Used to weld and have the bug to start another small business in which I'll be using 1/8 mild steel(and slightly larger wall thickness). Was nervous as to if this would have enough power if I wanted to push it a bit.......I can't believe how nice this thing works and I haven't even put sheilding gas on it yet. Better yet, I picked it up at for $304.00 delivered!!!! Yes the exact same unit. Good buy?...nope...great buy!!
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